Quality accounts and priorities

Each year the Trust sets strategic quality priorities. For 2019/20 these are:

1. Improving sepsis care 

Why we have chosen this as a quality priority?

Sepsis is recognised as a common cause of serious illness and death. It is estimated that there are 123,000 cases in England each year and 46,000 deaths. Sepsis also has long term impacts on patient morbidity and quality of life. In addition to the impact on patients, sepsis is associated with high healthcare costs, the UK Sepsis Trust estimates that improved care could lead to savings to the NHS of £170 million. 

Timely identification and appropriate antimicrobial therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing transition to septic shock and therefore reducing mortality.  

What we aim to achieve during 2019/20

We will:

  • Improve screening of sepsis in our emergency departments and inpatient settings so that at least 90% patients who meet the relevant criteria are screened 
  • Improve the timely commencement of appropriate antimicrobial therapy for patients found to have sepsis so that at least 90% of receive IV antibiotics within 1 hour

2. Reducing hospital acquired E.coli bloodstream infection

Why we have chosen this as a quality priority

Reducing hospital acquired E.coli bloodstream infection (BSI) was set as a Trust quality priority in 2018/19. As well as improving safety, reducing avoidable E.coli BSIs is expected to result in fewer readmissions, shorter lengths of stay, improved patient experience and reduced antimicrobial prescribing.  

What we aim to achieve during 2019/20

We will:

  • Reduce the number of hospital onset E.coli BSIs by 10% 

3. Reducing inpatient falls

Why we have chosen this as a quality priority

Reducing inpatient falls was set as a two-year quality priority in 2018/19. Research from NHS Improvement shows that a multifactorial assessment and intervention can reduce falls by around 25%. The Trust has begun the process of implementing this multifactorial assessment and care bundle (‘Safer Steps’) across our two hospital sites and in 2018/19 launched new risk assessment documentation, falls care plans and training for staff in the reduction in falls as well as safety equipment, such as bed rails, crash mats and patients non-slip socks. The second year as a quality priority will build on this, embedding it into practice in order to drive a reduction in inpatient falls.

What we aim to achieve during 2019/20

We will:

  • Increase in the percentage of eligible patients with fully completed ‘Safer Steps’ care plans in place, leading to a reduction in the number of inpatient falls
  • Introduce the NHS Improvement falls underreporting tool, which is a validated tool used to estimate whether the reported falls rate truly reflects the number of patients actually falling on wards—by introducing this tool, we will be able to better understand our data and more accurately assess whether our interventions are having an impact 

4. Improving continuity of carer within maternity services  

Why we have chosen this as a quality priority

Our Trust provides the fourth-busiest maternity service in the UK and our staff will support the delivery of more than 10,000 babies in 2019/20.

Better Births, the report of the national maternity review, set out a vision for maternity services in England which:

  • Are safe and personalised
  • Put the needs of the woman, her baby and family at the heart of care
  • Support staff to deliver high-quality care which is continuously improving

At the heart of this vision is the idea that women should have continuity of the person looking after them during their maternity journey, before, during and after the birth.  This continuity of care and relationship between care giver and receiver has been proven to lead to better outcomes and safety for the woman and baby, as well as offering a more positive and personal experience—and was the single biggest request of women of their services that was heard during the review. 

What we aim to achieve during 2019/20

We will:

  • Introduce continuity of care midwifery teams linked to a named consultant and increase the number of women receiving midwifery continuity of care 

Further information

For further details about how will meet these objectives, please see our quality report which is part of our annual report.

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